Friday, July 22, 2011

Beit Ahmad Sidi: Just another reason it sucks to be Palestinian

Ahmad started building his house a year and a half ago, but unfortunately it falls arbitrarily in Area C. Area C is the designation of areas completely controlled by the Israeli military, and they run contiguously throughout the west bank. Any growth or development or infrastructure planned in these areas has to be cleared with Israel, and it's usually roundly rejected.
So when Ahmad started his house he was informed that, though he owned the land, it could be demolished at a moments notice unless he got the proper paperwork. He's been trying do do so for years, going back and forth between Ramallah, shuffling papers. The village of Jit is surrounded by settlements, which cause constant problems, but Ahmad's house is far, far from them, surrounded by other palestinian developments.

This shows the distance of his house from the rest of the village.

Nothing around but trees.

His plot was designated area C because it is within a mile or so of a through road used by Palestinians and settlers alike, which means Israelis get to say what happens in all the land around it.

In the meantime, the house is taken care of and sometimes used as a shelter by Ra'ed, a charming and funny deaf-mute guy who does magic tricks and plays practical jokes. He camps out here and sometimes gives foreigners visiting the area a place to stay, making tea and little fires in the the shell of the house.

Ahmad's experience is just a blip, just a single case study in the face of tens of thousands of similar moves, destructions, humiliations, and pressures. On the other side of the power structure, Israel plans and builds hundreds of settlement homes, which will probably never go away, curtailing any mutual reconciliation or peace process.

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